Girls Cross Country
Columbus North senior Sydney Sluys has announced she will continue her athletic and academic career at Manchester University, an NCAA Division III program located in North Manchester, Ind.
A competitor in track and cross country, Sluys plans to major in exercise science with hopes for an eventual career in athletic training or physical therapy.
Earlier this spring, Sluys competed in the Bloomington North Indoor Invitational and posted a time of 6 minutes, 37.98 seconds in the 1,600-meter run. Last fall during the cross country season, she had a season-best time of 23:14.0 for 5,000 meters in the Columbus North Classic on the course at CeraLand Park.
“One of my college running goals is to be able to balance my role was student with my role as an athlete,” said Sluys, who also considered Indiana State and Evansville as possible college choices. “I also want to break 23 minutes in the 5K. And I hope to make new friendships that will last a lifetime while on the team.”
Columbus North coach Rick Sluder is pleased that Sluys will have the opportunity to run for the Spartans, who compete in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“Sydney has been the model of consistency and effort that we hope all Columbus North distance runners strive to achieve,” Sluder said. “She will fit in very well at Manchester and get the opportunity to continue to improve and contribute as a student-athlete. With Sydney’s work ethic and love for running, she will be a great four-year athlete for them.”
Sluys noted that she visited the school last December to learn about its academic and athletic programs. She liked how the school offers a number of options for academic help and professional development. Sluys pondered her options throughout the winter, and she committed to the Spartans in a March 30 phone call with coach Brian Cashdollar.
“Out of the colleges I applied for, I connected with the program at Manchester the most,” Sluys said.
At Manchester, Sluys will join a women’s cross country program that has won the past two and four of the past five HCAC championships. In women’s track, the Spartans claimed the HCAC indoor title in 2016 and HCAC outdoor crowns in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Cashdollar, completing his 21st year as a coach at the school, has garnered a total of 20 HCAC Coach of the Year awards and was the NCAA D-III Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year in men’s cross country in 2011.
Sluys is the 16th CNHS student-athlete in the Class of 2020 to announce plans to pursue college athletics. The full list of CNHS senior athletes planning to pursue athletics follows.
COLUMBUS NORTH CLASS OF 2020
Student, Sport, College Choice
* Annie Anderson, women’s golf, Rose-Hulman
* Brooke Bruin, softball, DePauw University
^ Casper Clark, baseball, Indiana University
# Mitchel Collier, football, Central Michigan
* Jackson Davis, football, Butler University
^ Caroline Hollenkamp, women’s soccer, Brandeis University (Mass.)
^ Betsy King, women’s swimming, Ball State
^ Olivia Morlok, women’s swimming, Ohio University
^ Sierra Norman, softball, Marian University
^ Lauren Opalka, volleyball, Muskingum University (Ohio)
# Landon Robbins, football, Valparaiso University
* Adrienne Salemme, women’s track & field, Samford University (Ala.)
^ Erica Samuel, women’s swimming, Indiana Wesleyan
* Nicholas Schiavello, men’s basketball, Wheaton College
* Sydney Sluys, women’s cross country/track, Manchester University
^ Grant Trinkle, baseball, University of Kentucky
^ took part in ceremony on Nov. 13, 2019
# took part in ceremony on Dec. 18, 2019
* ceremony was to be in April 2020, ceremony now postponed (and likely canceled) because of the COVID-19 pandemic
PHOTO: Columbus North senior Sydney Sluys (bib number 2038) competes during a cross country meet last fall at Eagle Park in Brown County. Sluys has committed to continue her academic and athletic career at Manchester University.